Earlier this summer Hillary’s blinds asked me to get involved with their Autumn campaign on new ideas for blinds and curtains to showcase their latest fabric collections. There were to be four of us – Sophie Robinson (her off the telly) Daniela Tasca York (her wot won the telly show) and Emily Henson (stylist and author of three books including Bohemian Modern and Life Unstyled, which I’m sure many of you will be familiar with). Well I was thrilled not only to be included with these three proper professionals but also to get a chance to examine this subject more closely.
I confess I have never really paid much attention to window dressings. Beyond the fact that I don’t have any curtains as I have found they cut the light from the room (especially if you have bay windows) I have tended to stick up some white black-out blinds and leave it at that. But I’m always up for learning something new and while I have original Victorian sash windows that I like to leave as a feature in their own right, sometimes we need window dressings to cover more utilitarian frames as well as for privacy and decoration.
We were asked simply to visit the factory in Nottingham (Sophie and I went together and were so busy chatting at the station that we managed to get on the wrong train – did I just say professional?) and to choose fabrics for both curtains and blinds and then to style a room around our choices.
As you can see although the room sets are the same there are four very different looks although there are more than 300 fabrics in the collection so there was a huge amount to choose from.
We choose colours and fabrics that most represented our four styles but I think, and hope, that you will all find something that fits with your own prefences in these four, very different, room sets. Sophie’s (at the top) was all about colour clash and is a masterclass on how to mix patterns. If in doubt start with a combination of black and white geometric and add flowers. I love this even though, in theory, I’m not one for too much colour.
My room will come as no surprise to you although I’m really pleased with how it came out, thanks to the product loans from the lovely people at Rockett St George. Now while I don’t mix colour and pattern like Sophie, I do like to mix light and dark and vintage and modern. And I’m also done with plain white blinds and seriously considering replacing my sitting room blinds with a spot of millennial pink.
Daniela’s minimal luxe is also completely in her style and if you want to take inspiration from this the idea is to use similar colours but mix the materials as she has done here. Running the voile across the whole wall keeps the room looking pared back but expensive and allows the furniture to stand out.
Finally, Emily has chosen a natural palette of colours that all work perfectly together but the contrast of the linen curtains and rustic walls combine to make this room feel cosy and luxurious at the same time.
If you want to see more advice and ideas then visit Hillarys and I have labelled all the fabrics we used in the captions if you want to ask them for samples of these for your own schemes.
What do you think? I have just caught myself looking at the windows and wondering if a little curtain action wouldn’t go amiss after all… perhaps that’s the thought of winter.
To learn more about Sophie, Daniela and Emily visit them here: